IS IT POSSIBLE TO BRING MULTIMEDIA DIGITAL LIFE INTO ETHNOLOGICAL MUSEUMS? DEMANDS, LIMITS AND FEARS OF MUSEUMS' WORKERS

D. Casado-Neira, F. Braña Rey

University of Vigo (SPAIN)
Digital contents and multimedia guides are nowadays present in many museums. It is out of discussion the benefits brought by adopting digital technologies, but not all museums are in the praxis at the same level interested or familiar with the use of digital technologies for exhibition purposes or additional uses (as internet presence, outdoor activities, etc.). Thus museums could be classified in three different groups according to their management attitude to the introduction and use of digital technologies: proactive –institutions working to bring the information to a digital presentation in several levels and working with specifically designed contents for the digital access – (dolphin museum type), opportunist –the ones adopting some restricted use of digital technologies, mostly only to on-line self presentation or no-structured contents on their collections – (jellyfish museum type), and reluctant –museums without or with digital presence limited to general information on the museum accessible via web– (blue mussel museum type). We have inquired into the attitudes, fears, expectations and demands toward digitalization of museums contents between ethnological museums' workers and managers, in order to discover the key reasons for not adopting such technological tools. Lack of knowledge for the implementation and for the management of multimedia digital guides, fear of high costs and no-confidence on benefits for the transmission of information to the visitors are some of the main reasons given. Our aim is to advance into the possibilities of using digital technologies in such museums.